Jason Marr, a practice player for the Seattle Storm women's team, has shown the Issaquah girls team it's OK to play with boys — and vice versa.

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TACOMA — Jason Marr wants girls to know it’s OK to practice against guys.

And vice-versa.

Marr speaks from experience. He is a regular practice player with the Seattle Storm.

“I love it,” said Marr, in his second season as an assistant coach for the Issaquah girls team. “As I get older, it’s harder to find places to go and play. It’s one of the better workouts you’ll get, and the girls don’t back down.”

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Especially the one he usually defends, All-Star Sue Bird.

Marr, a 5-foot-10, 35-year-old guard, has been part of the men’s practice squad since former Storm coach Anne Donovan began the custom in 2003.

He played basketball for the legendary Ed Pepple at Mercer Island as a freshman and sophomore, but concentrated on football his final two years and was an all-state receiver as a senior before graduating in 1993. He was head boys basketball coach at Newport in 2004.

Marr said he receives Storm tickets for his services (which he sometimes shares with Issaquah players), but is not paid by the WNBA club.

“I do it because I love the game,” he said.

Moses Lake

After losing 6-foot-5 center Carly Noyes, now at Washington State, and other top performers, Moses Lake coach Matt Strophy could not be prouder of his squad for earning a third straight state trophy.

“It’s so much more satisfying and gratifying to take a group that people don’t think highly of and get to Saturday of the state tournament,” he said.

Moses Lake (17-13), which plays Edmonds-Woodway for fifth place Saturday, opened the season 2-6. Strophy said he expected a slow start to the season and credited his team for not panicking before the start of league play.

“We put together our nonleague schedule this way on purpose,” Strophy said. “We knew going in we had one of the tougher ones in the state and this (helped) prepare us for the rest of the season. They understand the win-loss record in nonleague games is not important. There are no state rankings that will get us to the NCAA tournament.”

Warbis ‘chilled’

When Lake Stevens senior Meghan Warbis sprained her ankle in last Saturday’s district championship game, she worried about getting healthy enough to play at state.

Then she worried about the freezing bucket of ice she had to stick her foot in for hours.

“It was the most miserable time of my life,” she said. “The ice bucket sends shivers down your spine before you even put your foot in it.”

Sandy Ringer: 206-718-1512 or sringer@seattletimes.com

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